Apple's recent financial filings indicate the tech giant anticipates having to accommodate third-party App Stores in Europe due to the European Union's new Digital Markets Act. The legislation, which comes into effect from 2024, will impact Apple's app distribution, developer charges, and commission earnings. Analysts at Morgan Stanley confirm that such changes are imminent but believe the potential impacts on user experience and profits are limited due to the App Store's security and convenience.
💡 Why does this matter?
Europe's enforcement of third-party App Store integration will likely reshape Apple's business model and profitability structure starting from 2024. This mandate not only challenges App Store's monopoly but could also diminish Apple's commission earnings and app control, leading to potential material impacts on its financial condition.
Disney is preparing to launch a combined Disney+ and Hulu app in December, ahead of the official release in spring 2024. After potentially finalizing its full ownership of Hulu, Disney aims to increase engagement, enhance ad revenue, and reduce customer acquisition costs. Despite Hulu's yet to announce its international expansion, this move could enable the brand's global launch. Disney's streaming business is also projected to reach profitability by the end of fiscal 2024.
💡 Why does this matter?
Disney's planned merger of Disney+ and Hulu might expand the Hulu brand globally and disrupt streaming market dynamics. However, Disney could face regulatory hurdles in its purchase of NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, potentially impacting the amalgamation's timeline and success.
Amazon Prime subscribers now have access to a $100 discount on a One Medical membership, an acquisition of Amazon's worth $3.9 billion. Previously priced at $199 annually, the membership has been decreased to $99 for Prime customers. This move allows members to avoid lengthy wait times prevalent in the US healthcare system and facilitates faster access to primary care physicians. One Medical provides same-day in-person visits or 24-hour virtual appointments. Amazon aims to increase One Medical's 836,000 subscribers and expand into the healthcare industry.
Google's Attorney, Glenn Pomerantz, suggested during the Fortnite court that Google's User Choice Billing agreement with Spotify should be kept confidential. This follows Epic Games' accusations that Google's Play Store represents an unlawful monopoly. Interestingly, Spotify bypasses Google’s full fee on Android as part of a limited pilot program named “User Choice Billing”. Whether full details of Google and Spotify's deal will be disclosed remains undecided.
Rockstar Games, a Take-Two Interactive Software division, plans to promote Grand Theft Auto 6 starting from next month. The release of the game's trailer in December coincides with the firm's 25th anniversary. Upon this announcement, Take-Two's shares hiked 7.5%. The game, set in a fictional Miami, is highly anticipated following the success of Grand Theft Auto V, which sold over 185 million copies.
Google is expanding its Search Generative Experience (SGE) to over 120 new countries, such as Mexico, Brazil, and South Africa, while also including support for Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Indonesian languages. This AI-powered search option can be accessed via Google's Search Labs program on Chrome desktop or the Google app. The tech giant aims to gather user feedback to refine the SGE, which answers queries without requiring clicks to other sources, indicating a substantial shift in search operations.
💡 Why does this matter?
Google's expansion of its AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) into 120 new territories could trigger a fundamental shift in the search sector, potentially reducing the traffic to other sources and altering the dynamics of online content accessibility and digital marketing. The new languages supported may also influence cross-border communications and demand for specialized content translation.
OpenAI unveiled the GPT Builder at its inaugural developer conference, a tool that enables users, irrespective of their technical skills, to create their own AI agents using the GPT-4 Turbo model. It has the capability to reference user-uploaded documents and perform repeatable commands. OpenAI also announced plans for a GPT Store to commercialize user-created AI tools. Beta users have already created various applications, including a product prototyping tool, a social media optimizer, an animated GIF creator, and coaching tools among others.
💡 Why does this matter?
The unveiling of OpenAI's GPT Builder is a significant leap in democratizing AI access. The tool empowers even non-technical users to build personalized AI agents, opening possibilities for tech entrepreneurs, workers, and investors to rapidly prototype and implement AI solutions across various functions, fostering industry dynamism and potential new business opportunities.
GitHub unveiled its enterprise-grade Copilot subscription, coming February 2024, that will enable companies to tune AI-based Copilot Chat based on their internal codebase finely. Now powered by OpenAI's GPT-4, the $39/month subscription will augment Copilot's existing capabilities by allowing AI interaction with code in the cloud and providing developers with AI-assisted solutions to code-related issues. GitHub also plans to expand Copilot Chat to the GitHub mobile app and JetBrains suite of IDEs. A partner program enabling plugins by third-party developers was announced, too.
AI startup Anthropic is expanding its partnership with Alphabet Inc.'s Google, becoming one of the first to use Google's new Cloud TPU v5e chips for its large language model, Claude. This development deepens the firms' relationship following a recent cloud computing agreement wherein Anthropic reportedly agreed to spend over $3 billion on Google's services over four years. Nevertheless, Anthropic maintains a multi-cloud strategy, also utilizing Amazon's AWS services and chips.
Disney's Q4 earnings exceeded expectations, with its streaming service seeing nearly 7 million net new subscribers, double consensus estimates. The firm also raised its cost-cutting target to $7.5 billion from $5.5 billion set earlier this year. Adjusted earnings stood at $0.82 per share, surpassing $0.69 forecasts and doubling last year's amount of $0.30. Streaming losses fell to $387 million despite an increase in plan prices, marking a significant improvement from the previous year's loss of $1.41 billion.
Cloud communications company Twilio reported Q3 FY2023 revenues of $1.03 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.2% and above analysts' expectations. The company's non-GAAP profit stood at $0.58 per share, marking a solid improvement from last year's quarter. Twilio forecasts Q4 revenues to touch $1.04 billion and its free cash flow rose 138% to reach $195.2 million in Q3. Despite a slowdown in customer acquisition momentum, the company is well-placed to invest in growth with a market cap of $10.04 billion and over $3.8 billion in cash.
Lyft's Q3 earnings surpassed expectations with revenue rising by 10% to $1.16 billion. The ride-hail company also saw its market share grow from 27% in January to 29%, despite Uber's dominance. Moving forward, Lyft anticipates Q4's adjusted core profit to be between $50 million to $60 million, surpassing the expected $48.8 million, while projecting revenue growth in mid-single-digits.
HubSpot, the sales and marketing software maker, reported a 25.6% YoY rise in Q3 FY2023 revenue to $557.6 million, topping expectations. Its non-GAAP EPS stood at $1.59, up from $0.69 YoY. The firm's Q3 customer count increased to 194,098 from 184,924 in the earlier quarter, reflecting strong sales momentum. Chief Executive Officer Yamini Rangan attributed the growth to focused execution and rapid product innovation.
Robinhood saw a 14% fall in its shares as its reported third quarter results highlighted a decline in monthly active users as well as trading volumes. While revenue increased by 29% hitting $467 million, it still fell short of the predicted $480 million. The brokerage is planning on expanding in Europe to foster growth, including launching in the UK and opening up crypto trading to EU customers.
Apple has temporarily halted the development of new features for its software, including iOS 18, macOS 15, and watchOS 11 to focus on improving software quality through bug fixes. This decision, described as a rare move by Bloomberg, is said to reduce glitches caused by the extensive coding involved in Apple's software development. The one-week pause comes after the first "milestone" version of next year's iOS 18, macOS 15, and watchOS 11 releases revealed an unusual number of bugs.
Google Drive undergoes a peculiar redesign for its Android application. With some users questioning its functionality and aesthetics, the update has sparked quite a discussion within the tech community. Further details can be found on Android Police's website.